A Report on the 70th World Con: Part 3

Still feeling under the weather, but determined to have as much fun (by damn) as possible at the convention.

Found out that some events are being co-hosted over the Internet with Dragon Con, which is being held in Atlanta. Coincidentally, I was in Atlanta last week speaking at the GFIRST Cyber Security Conference (for my day job), which was held at the same hotel as the Dragon Con, the Marriot Marquis.

Let’s talk about scale for a moment. GFIRST was a 1675-person technical conference. World Con was a 6000-person literary convention. Dragon Con was a 35,000-person media event. I just thought it was ironic that if I’d stayed in Atlanta for just a couple more days, I’d have ended up at a great convention there, too. Anyway, the two conventions arranged things so that the Hugo Awards (on Sunday, tomorrow) would be shown simultaneously at both conventions, a true first.


My Pepsi bottle (strictly medicinal, for much-needed caffeine and carry-as-you-go cough syrup alternative) and I attended four sessions today:

Another View on Character Building
Panelists: Carol Berg, Barbara Galler-Smith, Paco Ruiz, Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Moral Ambiguity in SF
Panelists: Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Nancy Kress, Charles Stross, Jay Lake, Lissa Price

Vivid Character Building
Panelists: Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Carol Berg, Kay Kenyon, Randy Henderson, Teresa Frohock

Series, Why Do We Love Them? Why Do We Hate Them?
Panelists: Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Eric Flint, Ferrett Steinmetz, Jack McDevitt, Lyda Morehouse

The first three sessions were entertaining, but not overly memorable. The last was quite nice, with an excellent give-and-take between Mike Moscoe, who has a successful military series; Eric Flint, who has the outrageously successful and popular 1632 series; and Jack McDevitt, with his Priscilla Hutchins space exploration series and the Benedict SF mystery series.

An Unexpected Event

There was one highly unusual event, today. I saved somebody’s life.

Returning from lunch, I entered the hotel lobby. The escalator down to the Bronze level was about 20 feet away from me to my right. I saw a large, obese man on a hotel scooter accidentally hit the wrong control on his vehicle and drive it down the escalator.

I immediately ran after him, grabbing him and the vehicle from behind. Together with two other gentleman who were underneath him, we kept him from tumbling down the escalator, as well as preventing anybody else from getting hurt. When his scooter got jammed at the bottom, I was the only one powerful enough to unjam it and get him and the scooter out-of-the-way.

Totally unexpected. I still don’t know if the guy realized how dangerous that escapade was.

I felt pretty good afterwards, though. I saw a crisis, and acted quickly to prevent it. It’s not every day that you get to do something like that.


I went out for a nice Thai dinner and went to bed early. Highly unusual for me, but I was running on empty by the end of the day.

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